So I got a big bag of rhubarb from my Mom this week, which I’ve been super excited about. I LOVE rhubarb, and it is one of those things that you just can’t go buy at the grocery store. You might find a few outrageously priced spindly, dried up looking little stalks, but that’s about it. So I have had a hard time figuring out what to make with my coveted bag of rhubarb. Some of it definitely had to go in the freezer. My husband, who is the smoothie master in our house, makes a delicious Rhubarb Crisp smoothie, so I froze enough rhubarb for a smoothie or two. Maybe one of these times I will get the recipe from him and share it here. Last time I made macarons I was talking to him about all the possible flavor options, and he mentioned making a rhubarb crisp macaron. So when I got a big bag of rhubarb I knew I had to give it a try. (As a side note, I seem to have this weird compulsion to try to make macarons on the day that my baby girl gets shots and feels miserable. As if macarons aren’t tricky enough, let’s add in a wailing baby…)
I only found one rhubarb macaron recipe, but it looked like it didn’t even use any actual rhubarb… It seems there aren’t very many adventurous rhubarb recipes out there. Most of the recipes are just for rhubarb crisp or crumble, strawberry rhubarb pie, or some sort of rhubarb cake. Don’t get me wrong, I think those recipes are quite delicious as well, it just seems like poor rhubarb is stuck in a rut. Which is a pity in my opinion, because I think rhubarb is delicious and is very under-appreciated. But anyway, I did find a recipe for rhubarb curd, so I made some rhubarb curd for my filling. I wanted to try to incorporate some brown sugar and cinnamon flavors as well to make it taste reminiscent of rhubarb crisp, so I came up with the idea of making brown sugar cinnamon macarons to pair with the rhubarb curd filling.
The rhubarb curd was pretty easy to make. It didn’t turn out a very pretty color, so I added a few strawberries to try to make it look a little prettier. It didn’t thicken up quite as much as I wanted it to though, so I decided I would try adding the curd to some buttercream like I did with my lemon macarons. They turned out really delicious, so I thought maybe it would work well here too. The only problem is that the rhubarb curd kind of curdled the buttercream. Who knew that you could add lemon curd to buttercream with no problems, but that rhubarb curd wouldn’t mix so good? Maybe some day if I meet Alton Brown I will ask him why. I bet he would know. Maybe he would even explain it to me in a fun way with puppets or something. Anyway, the result was that it still tasted delicious, but I’ll be honest because there’s no hiding it, it looks really disgusting….
I used the basic macaron recipe from Sprinkle Bakes again, and varied it by adding brown sugar to the meringue instead of regular sugar, and I also added in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and some pretty pink gel food coloring. They turned out pretty good, although not quite as good as my last macaron venture. The feet weren’t quite as high, and I had one shell just crumble on the parchment paper when I tried to pull it off. But overall they were pretty successful. The end product was good, but not my absolute favorite. Maybe I just couldn’t get over the curdled appearance of the filling, and my husband was better at ignoring it because he thought they were pretty good. We did both agree that we liked my lemon macarons better though.